The reality is many disabled people are unable to visit London simply because of accessibility …..this is at the heart of what inspired AbleStay.
AbleStay would not have been possible without the very generous financial support from family and good friends who understood our vision. Without their support we could not have purchased the first AbleStay house. Thank you for believing in our project.
In November 2019, we received a post on our Facebook group, Accessible Holidays and Day Trip. Emma Moss (aka Mummy with MND) asked for recommendations of where she and her family could stay in London to include ceiling track hoist, a profiling bed and a fully accessible bathroom.
London is our Capital City, surely in this day and age this was possible, right? WRONG!
After hours of searching, we were staggered to realise that not one single hotel room nor self-catering property could meet Emma’s needs.
We discovered that London, although claiming to be one of the most ‘accessible’ cities in Europe, has NO accommodation that is FULLY accessible for those with complex physical disabilities.
Most think accessible accommodation is a wider door and some grab rails, presuming that ‘one size fits all’ but this is simply not the case. Accessibility is much, much more than that.
Too often disabled people avoid travelling because it is "just too difficult" and it is "accessibility roulette as you never know what you're going to get or even if you can fit your wheelchair through the door". Why should disabled people miss out on the experiences that non-disabled people take for granted every single day?
The reality is there are ¼ million + people in the UK with complex physical disability (Cerebral Palsy, MND, Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury etc) and there is nowhere suitable to stay in London.
Hotel rooms - 165,000
Airbnb - 72,000
Fully Accessible - 0
The second part of our story is our darling son Kit.
Kit made a stormy entrance into the world in 2008.
Kit has quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and we have made it our mission to ensure his life is exceptional in every way. Part of this is our ongoing determination and passion to find a solution to every challenge. It is with this passion that we wish make change for others.
Emma’s Facebook comment was the pivotal moment for us both personally and professionally, the seed that has grown into AbleStay.
Thank you to Kit for constantly keeping us on our toes, it is a privilege and a joy to be your parents.
In the words of Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come”!
And this is how AbleStay began.
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